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Coolest Ram Club in FL
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Hi all,

I will try to keep this short. I noticed that I had a small leak of radiator fluid and then finally saw the engine temp go above normal so I refilled her and took her in to my local repair shop two days later and she had only maybe leaked a a cup since filling her up 2 days before I took her in.

I asked them to figure out where its leaking from and what needs to be done and or replaced and got a call that the radiator was leaking and had to be changed, then the Water Pump and then the Fan Clutch as well and 3.95 hours labor. Ends up being 704 bucks. And they even replaced the cap on it too and the last one in my opinion was fine. And to top it off, I get home and look under the hood just to see it and they reused all the old pipes and fasteners as well. Like if all the other stuff was changed, why not that then too why you're there?

This is a 02 Dodge Ram 1500 4.7L.

Any input would be much appreciated, as I have been using this place for years, but this just caught me off guard.
 

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Seating for 12
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Yep, that's what most shops do these days.

Since the fan is attached to the water pumps, chances are the bearings went bad and leaked, thus, both had to be changed out to stop the leak. Better them to do the job vs. you doing it running around town for parts and taking 6 hours of your time in the cold doing it yourself.

If it was the summer and I had a day over the weekend, I would have done it myself and like you said, got new hoses, clamps and zip-ties. Hope they used the CORRECT coolant! If they used Dexcool, your engine will be compromised. Some shops don't care because GM coolant is easy for them to get in 55 gallon barrels.
 

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Sounds like they found water at the bottom of a hose, but it wasn't coming from the hose...

"Aha!" they've said, "it's the radiator!"

And then, while the radiator was out, they saw that it had been dripping from the water pump. "Aha!" they've said, "we can hit this guy for some more here and he'll never know we've made such a silly mistake. After all, we're not sending this new radiator back, are we?"

Irrespective of the temperature, I'd learn to do it myself. But I've been doing stuff like this myself for over fifty years so I'm well conditioned to it. And if it only took a cupful after a couple of days, I'd have been sitting on it, keeping a check on it, maybe even waiting for things to develop. And carrying a container of water with me all the time.
 

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They didn't rip you off, price-wise, but they should have gotten approval for the work. Assuming $400 labor, they didn't make much on the parts, including the coolant. It's possible they saw issues with the water pump and fan clutch while they had it apart. It might have made sense to replace hoses, at least the bottom one, but perhaps it looked fine to them. I'm surprised this is a 4 hour job on a pickup, but I've never worked on one of these engines.
 

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It's not that fast to drain cooling system, remove radiator and replace it. I did it with my truck - it tooks time.

Replaced radiator cap is very good as I saw blown radiators due to stack cap valve. Also original mopar radiator come with new original cap.

Hoses should be inspected firts of all. Why should they be changed without a reason?
 

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I don't know about that...

Almost four hours labour was the radiator and the water pump, that's probably fairly reasonable. I know I would do my own quicker, but what I said holds.

They said it was the radiator and then said the water pump leaked too. A cup of water in a couple of days... it won't be coming from two places and still be that small a loss. They misdiagnosed and compensated by taking down their customer, that's not acceptable.
 

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Yep, that's what most shops do these days.

Since the fan is attached to the water pumps, chances are the bearings went bad and leaked, thus, both had to be changed out to stop the leak. Better them to do the job vs. you doing it running around town for parts and taking 6 hours of your time in the cold doing it yourself.

If it was the summer and I had a day over the weekend, I would have done it myself and like you said, got new hoses, clamps and zip-ties. Hope they used the CORRECT coolant! If they used Dexcool, your engine will be compromised. Some shops don't care because GM coolant is easy for them to get in 55 gallon barrels.
FYI Dexcool meets the Chrysler specs, and is exactly what I use in both my Chrysler vehicles. As long as you're not mixing HOAT and OAT, you're fine.
What's the matter, a little cold got you guys down. Try changing out a transmission in December while laying in frozen mud, it's what separates the men from the boys.
 

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Sounds like they found water at the bottom of a hose, but it wasn't coming from the hose...

"Aha!" they've said, "it's the radiator!"

And then, while the radiator was out, they saw that it had been dripping from the water pump. "Aha!" they've said, "we can hit this guy for some more here and he'll never know we've made such a silly mistake. After all, we're not sending this new radiator back, are we?"

Irrespective of the temperature, I'd learn to do it myself. But I've been doing stuff like this myself for over fifty years so I'm well conditioned to it. And if it only took a cupful after a couple of days, I'd have been sitting on it, keeping a check on it, maybe even waiting for things to develop. And carrying a container of water with me all the time.
You're second guessing somebody else's work. When you're a mechanic working on a 17-year old vehicle, it's more likely than not that you're going to find multiple problems when you start disassembling things. It's common sense to replace a water pump and fan clutch on something that old when you have the chance, because they're critical parts and could easily fail at any time. I'm frankly surprised the radiator lasted that long, they typically have a 10-12 year lifespan. There is no evidence that they "ripped off" anybody.
 

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I don't think that was a bad price for doing all of the things that they replaced for $704. I would have put new clamps and hardware on if they put in a new radiator and water pump though! That is why I do my own repairs unless it requires special tools. I would replace the clamps and any hoses if they did not put on new hoses. Good luck!!
 

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I would have put new clamps and hardware on if they put in a new radiator and water pump though!
Thats just uneccessary expense, especially for a shop whos already got you mad with the price for the other parts and labor. The clamps and hardware are not one time use items for the waterpump or radiator
 

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It's not that fast to drain cooling system, remove radiator and replace it. I did it with my truck - it tooks time.

Replaced radiator cap is very good as I saw blown radiators due to stack cap valve. Also original mopar radiator come with new original cap.

Hoses should be inspected firts of all. Why should they be changed without a reason?
I dont know if yours is different but ive done both my trucks and it took no longer than an hour and a half with me taking my sweet time. How long is it taking you?
I cant imagine paying 704 dollars for that...holy crap
 

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Yep, that's what most shops do these days.

Since the fan is attached to the water pumps, chances are the bearings went bad and leaked, thus, both had to be changed out to stop the leak. Better them to do the job vs. you doing it running around town for parts and taking 6 hours of your time in the cold doing it yourself.

If it was the summer and I had a day over the weekend, I would have done it myself and like you said, got new hoses, clamps and zip-ties. Hope they used the CORRECT coolant! If they used Dexcool, your engine will be compromised. Some shops don't care because GM coolant is easy for them to get in 55 gallon barrels.
This is nonsense. I only use Dexcool-compliant coolant in my Chryslers (Prestone brand, orange color). It's the only coolant I could find at O'Reilly that specifically states it meets the Chrysler standard. Dexcool is just a brand name for OAT type coolant which is what is used in essentially all modern vehicles.
 

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I dont know if yours is different but ive done both my trucks and it took no longer than an hour and a half with me taking my sweet time. How long is it taking you?
I cant imagine paying 704 dollars for that...holy crap
So you're saying that on that model of truck, you can drain the cooling system, get the shrouds off, clutch and fan off, radiator out, water pump off, and then replace all that stuff, put everything together, and get refilled and ready to roll in 90 minutes? I'd like to see that.
 

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OEM radiator: $170 discounted
OEM Water pump: $90
Fan clutch: $40
Radiator cap $5
Coolant $30
Total: $335. $704 - 335 = $369 to cover 4 hours labor, tax, shop supplies, etc.
I fail to see how anyone would think there is a ripoff happening here. If you're running a brick and mortar shop you need to be charging at least $80-90 an hour to actually make any money. Of course, they could have used super cheap parts, but most shops are smart enough not to do that.
 

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So you're saying that on that model of truck, you can drain the cooling system, get the shrouds off, clutch and fan off, radiator out, water pump off, and then replace all that stuff, put everything together, and get refilled and ready to roll in 90 minutes? I'd like to see that.
Yea, i can. Its way easier than you are making it sound. There is 1 shroud. 4 bolts and a couple clamps for radiator. Fan clutch is as easy as having an impact, hit it for a few seconds and it will be loose, you can then spin it by hand. Water pump is just bolts and a couple clamps. Im not sure why you are making this sound like its almost an all day job ?
 
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